Media Relations

The President Offers Sustained Support for Nursing Education and Research in a Tight Budget Year

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Press Release  
For Immediate Release

The President Offers Sustained Support for Nursing Education and
Research in a Tight Budget Year

WASHINGTON, DC, February 1, 2010- President Obama released his FY 2011 Department of Health and Human Services Budget Request, which provided details on the funding levels he proposed for critical nursing education and research programs. AACN recognizes that the Administration has remained committed to addressing the nursing and nurse faculty shortages by providing level funding ($244 million) for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) in this tight budget atmosphere. Additionally, the proposed approximately 3% increase for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) will advance nursing science and help to translate its innovations for improved quality patient care.

“President Obama has demonstrated a continued dedication to nursing education and research at a time when the economic reality adds significance to even the smallest increases” said AACN President Fay Raines. “Over the last two years, the Administration and Congress have emphasized the value of nursing care and its central role in the health system by increasing funding for the Title VIII programs and NINR through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the FY 2009 and 2010 Appropriations. Given the fiscal climate and the historical support for Title VIII last year, AACN is grateful for this continued support.”

AACN is committed to working with the President and Congress to emphasize the need for additional Title VIII funding due to the ongoing and impending nursing shortage. Analysts with the Bureau of Labor Statistics project that more than 587,000 new RN positions will be created through 2016. This comes at a time when schools of nursing struggle to increase student capacity. While results from AACN’s most recent enrollment and graduation survey show that nursing schools slightly increased enrollments in entry-level baccalaureate programs over last year, more than 40,000 qualified applications were turned away in 2009 primarily due to faculty shortages, insufficient clinical education sites, and budget cuts.

“A sustained investment in nursing education will be critical to enhancing the availability of quality nursing care to all Americans in a reformed system,” said Dr. Raines. “AACN and the Nursing Community will work with Congress to build on the President’s budget to ensure that the FY 2011 funding will continue to advance nursing’s role in providing the patient-centered care envisioned in America’s health system of the future.”

For more information related to the President’s FY 2010 budget proposal, see:

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 640 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. Website:

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Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231